Ravin is one of the world’s premiere crossbow brands, reserved for the most discerning bowhunter. Commanding a price big enough to make your eye’s water we have to ask, are they worth it?
Throughout this article, we will review four Ravin crossbows, followed up with the criteria we used when considering the pros and cons of each model.
- Length: 33inches
- Weight: 6.8lbs
- Draw weight: #12
- ATA (axle-to-axle) width: 6.5inches cocked 10.5inches uncocked
- Arrow speed: 400fps
- Safety features: Dry fire inhibitor, ambidextrous safety
The R10 is one of Ravin’s flagship models, delivering large amounts of power from a small frame, a common theme among Ravin’s crossbows. Available in gunmetal grey or camo (although the camo carries an additional cost), the R10 handles itself well in all bowhunting applications, with the ability to take down even the largest bucks.
This package comes with 6 x Ravin arrows + nocks, 1 x mounted quiver and 6 x 100gr field point tips. A 100y mountable illuminated scope comes as standard, with built-in sling mounts, but unfortunately no sling, an inclusion I would have expected for a premium price tag.
The R10 is constructed from a molded polymer, which is extremely lightweight but, more importantly, strong. Its two-piece construction is almost skeletal, not just to provide comfort for the user, but to properly balance the crossbow when firing.
Even the most demanding bowhunter will be impressed with how surprisingly rugged the body is, considering the light weight, a good sign that this is a weapon that is sure to last numerous seasons.
Cams and limbs use Ravin’s Helicoil technology, which allows them to produce lightweight yet powerful crossbows. Not only that, but the system is designed to reduce friction between the moving parts, prolonging the lifespan of the crossbow.
For further peace of mind, a 5-year limited warranty is provided by Ravin, which is standard for all their models. However, they do recommend that the bowstring is replaced every two years, or after 200 shots and that you use their own branded string lubricants.
For longevity of your crossbow, Ravin suggests using only branded arrows and clip-on nock points. Fortunately, six are provided as standard with this package.
When using Ravin’s proprietary nocks, an audible click can be heard when the nock is correctly engaged with the bowstring, a nice additional safety feature.
Ravin does provide a complete guide to inspecting their arrows online (a practice all bowhunters should be following anyway), and it is noted that arrows lighter than 400 grains should not be used as this produces a dry-fire effect.
Also included is a quiver that holds three bolts and mounting bracket, a pretty standard affair and nothing out of the ordinary.
A Ravin branded scope comes as standard, with an adjustable external range drum for distances between 20 – 100 yards. Windage and elevation can also be adjusted on the fly, particularly useful for bowhunter’s used to hunting in more open environments or from a tree stand.
Fps needs to be accounted for, and the scope will need to be zeroed for the arrows you are using. Adjustable red and green illumination is also featured on the included scope, which is shockproof with fully coated fog-resistant lenses.
Sling mounts are included, but now sling. A disappointment at this price point, and we would suggest purchasing a sling to go with the R10. Ravin also has crossbow bags available for each of their models, which we would recommend as a worthy investment to protect your new crossbow when in transit or storage.
Ease of use
Bowhunter’s turn to Ravin when they require speed and power in a small, lightweight package and the R10 definitely delivers on all counts. The maneuverability of this model makes it perfect for shooting from a ground blind or in areas of dense vegetation.
Offering up enough kinetic energy to stop even the largest game, the R10 is no slouch with 400fps on firing with a 400grain bolt. All available for only #12 of draw weight.
Ravin suggests that you can get groupings comparable to a rifle at 100 yards, and while this is perfect for target practice, we wouldn’t recommend attempting a kill shot at more than 40 yards. No modifications are requiring for left-handed shooters, as the R10 is conveniently designed to be ambidextrous.
Like most of their crossbows, the R10 features their unique Trac-Trigger Firing System, auto-engaging the safety once the bowstring has been introduced into the archway bracket. An anti-dry fire system is concurrently engaged alongside the safety mechanism and is only deactivated when the bowstring correctly hosts a Ravin clip-on nock.
4lbs of trigger pull on the R10 makes this model stand out as one of the best trigger systems in the world for crossbows, rivaling many modern firearms.
- Excellent Safety Features
- One of the best trigger systems in the world
- No sling included
- Must use Ravin brand arrows and nocks
- Not for the budget archer
- Length: 26inches
- Weight: 6.5lbs
- Draw weight: #12
- ATA (axle-to-axle) width: 5.75inches cocked 9.25inches uncocked
- Arrow speed: 400fps
- Safety features: Trac-Trigger auto safety, dry fire inhibitor
Ravin’s R26 crossbow is billed as their most compact, lightweight crossbow in their entire range. Weighing only 6.5lbs with an overall length of 26inches, Ravin has managed to create a small crossbow capable of taking down the largest game.
Stuffed into this tiny unit is a crossbow capable of firing a 400 grain bolt at 400fps, delivering 142lbs of kinetic energy.
The R26 is, in my opinion, one of the best crossbows available for shooting from a blind; ATA length when cocked is 5.75inches extending to 9.25inches on firing, never worry about accidentally dinging your crossbow again.
The R26 is made from the same molded polymer as the R10 and R20 models, but the main chassis of the body has been redesigned. While still nodding to some design elements of its predecessors, the R26 has been improved remarkably.
Despite its smaller frame, the body appears beefier and has been noted as feeling more comfortable in hand because of it. The highly skeletonized structure of the R10/20 models has been foregone, and even the handle has gained some mass, a feature I like as it delivers more friction to the hand, meaning better control in adverse weather conditions.
Here is where I will air my only disappointment with the R26; the included accessories are the same that we find on the R10 — same scope, same arrows, same quiver, etc.
I would have thought for one of their newest flagship models, voted as the #1 best new crossbow by Outdoor Life, that an improved accessory package would be supplied.
It may sound like I’m nitpicking a little bit because, honestly, everything that is provided is quality and will get you in the field within minutes. Even with this in mind, the R26 is one of my favorite new crossbows for a long time.
Ease of use
By now, you should be well aware of the usability of Ravin crossbows. All the features found on their other models are also present here. Helicoil technology gives you a fantastic power output for minimum draw weight.
And their signature frictionless flight system works to improve groupings, even up to distances of 100yards. Their frictionless flight developments also ensure that the maximum range of kinetic energy is transferred into the arrow when firing.
The weight and size of this unit mean you can traverse the harshest terrain, if needed, without worrying about the crossbow becoming cumbersome and unwieldy. As I mentioned before, in my opinion, this is the ultimate crossbow for shooting from an up-close blind.
The safety profile is as expected from a Ravin crossbow, and there isn’t much more I can expand upon from the other models on this list. The Trac-Trigger system is still as excellent as ever, with auto safety locking and dry fire inhibitor.
Working in tandem with the Versa-Draw cocking system making this crossbow not only a pleasure to use but one of the safest on the market.
- Wields a lot of power
- Perfect for shooting from a blind
- Award winning assembly
- I would like to see some improved accessories included
- Length: 29”
- Weight: 6.75lbs
- Draw weight: #12
- ATA (axle-to-axle) width: 6inches cocked 10.5inches uncocked
- Arrow speed: 430fps
- Safety features: Auto safety & dry-fire inhibitor
If you have tried the R26 but found it was a little too small for your frame, you might want to consider the R29. Featuring all the same design features of the R26, only slightly larger, the R29 is a good fit for taller bowhunters.
Improvements are small but noticeable, because of the extra mass the R29 is slightly more robust, with speed and power output seeing an increase. The fps jumps up from 400 to 430 between the R26 and R29, and while some may consider that a small margin, it can be the difference between your target jumping the string or not.
Constructed from the same materials and featuring the same design as the R26, the Ravin R29 is slightly hardier thanks to the extra added mass. All of Ravin’s crossbows are built to last, but the R29, in particular, seems like it will last a couple of extra seasons, provided correct care and maintenance is followed.
Again, this is where I feel the R29 has a downside. Like the R26, the R29 comes packaged with the same accessories as Ravin’s older models. While they are not bad accessories, in fact, they are better than a lot of aftermarket stuff available, I would have liked to see an improvement.
I think, though, that I am never satisfied, and I am continually looking for the next best accessory to gain even the slightest edge over everyone else.
Ease of use
Operating in the exact same way as the R26, the most significant deciding factor will be the user’s physical attributes. Taller, larger framed bowhunters will prefer the R29, or those who are after that little extra bit of speed and power.
Despite being bigger than the R26, the R29 is a small crossbow in its own right, being smaller than the rest of their range excluding the R26, and is still a fantastic option for bowhunters who like to operate from blinds or up tree stands.
The extra speed and power will also improve your groupings over all distances, and again Ravin compares the R29’s ability to a rifle for ranges of 100yards or less.
As with the rest of the Ravin family of crossbows, safety concerns have been considered, and solutions developed. Ravin crossbows are some of the safest available on the market.
All the usual suspects are featured, the Trac-Trigger system provides an industry-leading auto safety and dry-fire inhibitor, boosting the safety profile of Ravin above their competitors.
- Perfect for shooting from a blind
- Probably Ravin's hardest wearing crossbow
- While the accessories are great, for the price I would have hoped for better
- Length: 34.5inches
- Weight: 7.1lbs
- Draw weight: #12
- ATA (axle-to-axle) width: inches cocked 10.5inches uncocked
- Arrow speed: 430fps
- Safety features: Anti-dry fire, auto safety
Ravin’s R20 crossbow is the big brother of the R10. Remarkably similar in their design, the R20 sacrifices some of the size and weight advantages of the R10 for additional stopping power and speed.
Having said that, the additional length and weight are negligible, adding only 1.5inches to the overall length, and a mere 0.3lbs of additional weight.
By taking on additional mass, the R20 offers a speed and power advantage over the R10, gaining an extra 30fps on firing. While it might not sound impressive, 30fps can be the difference between your target jumping the string or not, lowering your chances of returning home empty-handed.
In my opinion, the most significant deciding factor on whether or not you choose the R10 or R20 will be personal preference and size. People with a smaller frame are likely to prefer the slightly sleeker R10 whereas larger framed, or taller, bowhunters should opt for the R20.
This particular package comes with additional and upgraded accessories over the R10 and standard R20 models. With an improved scope, jack mounting plate for elevation adjustment, and riser level all included.
Despite the additional mass, the R20 is still well balanced and optimized for long periods of use. For all intents and purposes, the frame is almost identical to the R10, with only the dimensions being altered.
Again, the R20 comes with a 5-year limited warranty from Ravin and is constructed from two sections of cast polymer. Similar maintenance rules apply to the R20, with a string change recommended every two years or after 200 shots.
Ravin string lubricants are advised to promote longevity of your equipment, as the high-velocity action of the moving parts can cause excess string wear over time.
The R20 sniper package comes with improved accessories when compared to the standard model. Most prominently, the optics have been upgraded to a 1-8×24 scope originally designed for AR-style rifles.
The lenses have been coated to reduce lens fog, and deliver an unhindered sight image that is clear, working well in low-light conditions. The reticle is glass-etched and features the capacity to illuminate.
Also included in the sniper package is an adjustable Jack Plate elevation scope mount system, allowing fine adjustments for elevation and windage on the fly. Finishing off the list of additional accessories is a small riser level the be mounted towards the front of your crossbow, ensuring precision shooting over longer ranges.
The R20 also comes with the same standard accessories as the R10 package, including arrows, quiver & mount, and draw handle.
Ease of use
Using the same frame design as the R10, with slightly larger dimensions, taller bowhunters or those with a larger frame might find the R20 more comfortable. The skeletal structure of this crossbow ensures that despite the larger size, it is only 0.3lbs heavier than its smaller brother.
Ravin states that rifle-like groupings are possible up to 100yards, and many users have mentioned that the R20 feels much like a rifle in hand. Like the R10, the R20 has a draw weight of #12, reducing fatigue over long target shooting sessions.
The Trac-Trigger Firing System once again provides an excellent safety profile for the R20, with a finger guard in place to protect your digits from harm. Auto-locking safety and a world-leading anti-dry fire system are in place to ensure the safety of yourself and those around you.
- Extreme accuracy
- Reduction of vibration
- Enough stopping power for all big game
- Users may want to upgrade to a scope with multiple reticles
Review Criteria for Ravin Crossbows
As you can see from the above reviews, we looked at several criteria for each crossbow. Below is a quick overview of what we were looking for from each product.
Bowhunting is a tough vocation, and the gear you use must meet up to the rigors placed on them, especially at this price point. When reviewing each crossbow, we wanted to ensure that every component was up to scratch, leaving no doubt that it could perform for several seasons.
Construction materials and quality of components have been taken into account in each review. The level of expected maintenance and upkeep has also been thought of, and if we suspect a model needs undue attention, we will tell you.
Accessory Package Included
Are you getting all the value you could from your crossbow package? We look at what accessories are included with each model, what we think should be added, and the quality or usability of each.
Ease of use
The bowhunting community is overburdened with unnecessarily complicated bows and crossbows, seemingly requiring a master’s degree in engineering to operate sometimes. If a bow is overly difficult to use, or unwieldy to maneuver with, then you are likely to miss shots you would otherwise have taken.
When scoping out Ravin’s crossbow selection, we have kept in mind how easy it is to operate. Is it simple to assemble, how easy is the cocking and uncocking procedure, is the sight easily adjusted and used?
Alongside ease of use, we also consider user comfort while using the crossbow. Is it excessively burdensome, or have a large footprint?
Attributes of the crossbow are also considered under ease of use, such as noise levels and vibration. Whitetails have notoriously good hearing; will your crossbow cause the target to jump the string?
These are the questions we asked ourselves throughout this article, informing our end reviews.
Safety is paramount when bowhunting, not only for yourself but for others. During each of our reviews of the top Ravin crossbows, we have thought about the safety features, the quality of the design, and if they are easy to use and understand for any level hunter or target competitor.
After reviewing Ravin’s range of crossbows and considering my experience with other brands, I have to say these are some of the best available crossbows in the world. My personal favorite is easily the R29; as someone who likes to hunt from a blind, it fits my needs perfectly.
If you want something a bit larger, or you are taller than average, the R29 will be an impeccable addition to your arsenal.
I hope you have found these reviews helpful. Have you used any of Ravin’s crossbows before? If so, let me know in the comments below how you have found them.
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